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Doctors urge all patients to wear masks when needing treatment

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A local doctor speaks out about patients coming to the hospital for care, but refusing to wear a mask.

Dr. Dick Schlepphorst with Quincy Medical Group said the hospital has had patients come in, seeking care for COVID-19 symptoms, but said it's their right to not wear a mask.

Schlepphorst said this scenario has put a burden on his physicians who care for that patient.

He said when the COVID-19 test comes back positive, it puts medical professionals and other patients at risk.

"The doctor saw the patient and the patient was sick and short of breath," Schlepphorst said. "The COVID test came back the next morning positive. So that physician is now quarantined because they spent significant time with a patient who wasn't masked. They have to stay home and their nurse has to stay home. Other patients are disadvantaged, so those decisions that individuals make impact others in a big way."

Schlepphorst said he urges all patients who come to the hospital to wear a mask and to think about the negative impact it can have on everyone around them if they choose not to.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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